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Ireland's likely next PM would be first gay, minority leader

AP , Friday 2 Jun 2017
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Ireland's governing Fine Gael party has elected Leo Varadkar, the gay son of an Indian immigrant, as its new leader and the country's likely next prime minister.

Varadkar defeated rival Simon Coveney in a contest to replace Enda Kenny, who resigned last month.

Coveney won the votes of a majority of party members, but Varadkar was backed by most lawmakers and local representatives to give him victory Friday under the center-right party's electoral college system.

He is highly likely to become prime minister in Ireland's coalition government, although not immediately. Kenny will remain for a couple of weeks while Varadkar holds talks with other members of the Fine Gael-led coalition government.

At 38, Varadkar will be Ireland's youngest leader, as well as the first from an ethnic-minority background and the first openly gay leader.

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